Deepika Kumari will be India's biggest medal hope in the sport of archery in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics which is scheduled to begin on 23rd July. She is presently the number 1 Women's Recurve archer in the world, after her hat-trick of gold medals at the recently concluded World Cup Stage 3 event in Paris.
She is one of the biggest sporting icons in the country and surely the best archer India has ever produced. Although Deepika is only 26 years old, she has been one of the top archers in the world for almost a decade now, which is an incredible feat to achieve at such a young age.
Deepika has won multiple medals in almost all major archery events in both individual and team disciplines. However, an Olympic medal is still missing from her illustrious kitty.
Deepika Kumari's performances in her previous Olympic appearances
The Tokyo Games will be Deepika's third Olympics. In her previous two Olympic appearances in London (2012) and Rio de Janeiro (2016), Deepika went in with high expectations. However, her performance was below par on both occasions, as she failed to keep her nerves strong.
At the 2012 London Olympics, 18-year old Deepika was one of the favorites to win a medal in both the Women's Individual Recurve (in which she was the then World Number 1) and the Women's team event. She was in red hot form going into the tournament.
But she suffered a shocking defeat in the very first round of the Individual Recurve event at the hands of Amy Oliver of Great Britain. India also crashed out in the very first round of the Women's Team event as they were beaten by Denmark by 211-210 points.
With this, Deepika's first Olympic journey came to an abrupt end, at the very first hurdle.
Learning from her bitter experience in London, Deepika was more focused on doing well in the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, she was not in good form before the Rio Games.
Despite her lack of form, Deepika performed much better in Rio as she reached the round of 16 in the Women's Individual event and the quarter finals in the team event. However, she was unable to reach the medal rounds and thus failed to win her maiden Olympic medal in her 2nd Olympics in Rio too.
Deepika's Medal Winning Chances at the Tokyo Olympics
After her two failed attempts in the Olympics, Deepika Kumari will hope to be third time lucky in Tokyo. Tokyo Olympics will be Deepika's best chance to win the elusive Olympic medal, because she is going into the tournament in great shape, perhaps the best in her career.
She has won gold in the Individual Recurve event, in both the World Cup stages in which she participated this year.
She has also won a World Cup gold in the Mixed Team event, the other event in which she will be participating in Tokyo. In addition to her excellent form, her vast experience will also be an added advantage for her in Tokyo, as it will help her in staying calm and focussed, in tight match situations.
With experience and form on her side, Deepika is surely in with a great chance of winning India's maiden archery medal at the Olympics.
Events in which Deepika Kumari will Participate at the Tokyo Olympics:
1) Women's Recurve Individual 2) Mixed Team Recurve